While in Europe PV is losing momentum, it is not the same in the U.S. According to a report by GTM Research and SEIA , the Solar Industry Association , the third quarter of 2013 has become the second largest in history in terms of new PV installations. California leads with 455 MW but only this year over 4.3 GW could be installed across the country.
Barack Obama’s federal government expressed his intention of achieving 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. So Ródano Resch, president SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) said that “this is a momentous time in the history of our nation. Nowadays, climate change is a real and increasing threat worldwide. This is indisputable. Sea levels are rising, the Arctic ice is disappearing, we are experiencing more intense and unpredictable storms and droughts are plaguing the world “and he also added “This is the reason why it is so important that the federal government leads by example. We applaud President Obama for not bowing to pressure and sticking to this key commitment.”
Photovoltaics, unstoppable growth
Today, solar energy is one of the renewable sources with faster growth in the U.S. In the last quarter installed capacity has exceeded 10 GW in the country, enough to power over 1.7 million homes.
According to SEIA, “this year we hope to overcome Germany, the world’s leader in solar installations. The new large-scale projects will create thousands of new jobs in our country, consumers will save money, local economies will be boosted and pollution reduced. ”
According to the report by GTM Research and SEIA, only in the third quarter of the year, 930 MW of photovoltaic capacity were installed in the U.S. turning the country into the second largest country to date in terms of photovoltaic installation. GTM Research also forecasts that a total of 4.3 GW be installed, representing an increase of 27 % over last year, and thus Germany would be surpassed in volume of new capacity for the first time in ten years.
U.S. states with greater installed capacity in the third quarter were California, with 455 megawatts , followed by Arizona with 169 megawatts and North Carolina, with 69 megawatts.
The latest report “U.S. Solar Market Insight Report” also shows that in the third quarter, a record was also set in new installations in the residential market. 186 megawatts were installed in this segment, of which 17.6 megawatts were in California. On the other hand, the non-residential segment has experienced a decline in new capacity but a return to growth is expected next year.
Competing on equal terms
However, SEIA requests the Government to develop a procurement process that allows a fair competition with the fossil fuel industry. Federal agencies should have the authority to sign power purchase agreements in the long term in order to maximize savings for American taxpayers.
Furthermore, the association criticizes the current outdated system that prevents federal agencies from buying clean energy, an activity already being undertaken by multinationals like Wal-Mart, Costco and Apple with the consequent reductions in energy expenditure.